~The insights of crappy Jasmine gal~

Monday, January 04, 2010

Results of 5th Annual Asian Festival of First Films

Sorry for the late report.. One month late exactly.. Here's the press release and list of winners if you have not read about it yet. Happy New Year. :)

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The Asian Festival of First Films (AFFF), the world’s premier film and documentary festival celebrating first-time film makers, announced the winners of the festival on 4 December at the Raffles Hotel Ballroom at a glittering awards night dinner.

The week-long search ended with Japanese film, ‘Looking for Anne’, the story of a 17-year-old Japanese girl on Prince Edward Island with a secret mission to find her recently deceased grandmother’s first love, a Canadian war veteran who gave her the book “Anne of Green Gables” years ago. ‘Looking For Anne’ won Best Film and Best Director.

And first-time producer, Sona Jain, bagged 4 awards for her story of a family, seen through the eyes of their child. Six year old Shruti feels disconnected from her mother and withdraws into her own fantasy world where she believes her mother is an alien. Both the film’s main child leads, first-time actress Sriharsh Sharma Churai and first-time actor Zoya S. Hasan captivated the jury with their heartrending depictions of a family caught up in its own tragedy.

The gala awards night was attended by the movers and shakers of the film industry, including for the first time in Singapore, Chris Lee, Producer of Superman: Man of Steel, Malcolm Young (Managing Director/Executive Producer, NYU Tisch Asia School of the Arts), Wolfgang Muench (Dean Faculty of Media Arts, Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore), Juan Foo (Executive Producer, Shooting Gallery Motion Pictures) and ambassadors and chancellors from the Asia Pacific from the Embassy of the Australia, Britain, Canada, Malta, Pakistan, the Philippines.

An international jury made up of distinguished personalities who specially flew in for the festival were also present. Jury members include award winning filmmakers and internationally-acclaimed producers Ana Kokkinos (Australia), a multi-award winning filmmaker from Australia, Chris Lee (Hawaii), notable film producer of blockbusters Superman Returns and SWAT, and Kabir Khan (India), the AFFF’s Best Director winner in 2007 and multi-award winner for his incisive portrayals of the historical milestones of our time. The event was hosted by Singaporean Lavinia Tan.

More than 30 nominee-hopefuls flew in to attend the glamorous occasion, including first-time director Takako Miyahira (Japan) of ‘Looking for Anne’, Kaushal Oza (India) of ‘Vaishnav Jan Toh…’, Seema Kohli (India) of ‘Swayamsiddha’, Saqib Mausoof (Pakistan) of ‘Kala Pul’, Rita Hui (Hong Kong) of ‘Dead Slowly’.

In between award presentations, guests were regaled with local performances, by Singapore’s own song-writer celebrity, Dick Lee, a dramatic stunt act replete with flying stunts and somersaults by Picasso Tan’s Kuen Wushu School and local indie up and coming singer-producer, Iris Judotter.

Supported by the Media Development Authority (MDA), the AFFF is a part of the annual Asia Media Festival (AMF). "The AFFF has once again shone the spotlight on budding film talent in Asia with a body of work that reflects the heart and soul of Asia. In this light, every nominee is a winner. I am confident that the AFFF will continue to bring to the fore promising talents with quality films that resonate with an international audience," says Ms Cassandra Tay, Director Communications and Community and International Relations, MDA, and the guest-of-honor for the evening.

A part of the Asia TV Forum held in Singapore which brings together a global buyer network, the AFFF further propels the interests of budding regional film talent by giving them this platform to attain access to commercial interest and funding, crucial to the success of every good film and filmmaker. Over the years, the AFFF has managed to attract top film talents and international stars to be part of the festival, further enhancing Singapore’s media hub and economy.

“This year’s films captivated our hearts and minds and transported us from the mud huts of Afghanistan to the Canadian countryside and the slums of Mumbai to the back alleys of Singapore. Each year, the festival grows in stature among the film circuit, and first-time filmmakers take heart that they too have a platform created specially for them where their dreams can unfold,” notes Sanjoy Roy, Festival Director.

Shweta Asnani, Executive Producer of AFFF adds, “The AFFF allows budding talent in Asia to portray the diversity and depth in the stories of the region to an international audience of film professionals. My heartiest congratulations to all our nominees for taking this step into the world of filmmaking and for telling the world our stories through their eyes.”

Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop, who headed the Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) jury for the FCA Purple Orchid Award, comments, “The overall level of entries was good but the jury felt that ‘Land Gold Woman’ from India was able to portray the dilemma that Asians cope with having to face the world and their families in a perpetual struggle between globalization and their roots.” The winning film tells about the tough choice an immigrant Indian professor in Birmingham faces, between saving his family’s name or his teenage daughter when she is found to be in an illicit relationship.

For this year’s competition, a total of 700 entries were received from 28 countries. A total of 22 nominated films and documentaries view for 11 awards. The winners and films are listed in below:

Best Film
Looking for Anne

Best Producer
Sona Jain (For Real)

Best Director
Takako Miyahira (Looking for Anne)

Best Screenplay/ Script
Sona Jain (For Real)
Avantika Hari, Vivek Agrawal (Land Gold Woman)

Best Cinematographer/ Editor
Shweta Venkat (Superman of Malegaon)

Best Male Actor
Sriharsh Sharma Churai (For Real)

Best Female Actor
Zoya S. Hasan (For Real)

Best Documentary
Faiza Ahmad Khan (Superman of Malegaon)

Best Director of Documentary
Jawed Taiman (Addicted in Afghanistan)
Faiza Ahmad Khan (Superman of Malegaon)

Best Short Film
Vinoo Choliparambil (Vitthal)

Foreign Correspondents Association Purple Orchid Award
Avantika Hari, Vivek Agrawal (Land Gold Woman)

More information is available on the festival website: http://www.asianfirstfilms.com.

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